Is It Hot in Here, or Is It You?

Laurie and Debbie say:

Elisa Gonzalez Clark is hot. And hot under the collar.

And making lots of sense.

Was anyone really surprised when Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said he thought Puerto Rican and Cuban women were hot? …

A lot of people think that Latinas are muy caliente. So are African American women. As are Asian women. Ask any white guy — they’ll be more than happy to tell you.

The stereotype of the sexually wild, tempestuous Latina is as old as Lupe Velez’s “Mexican Spitfire” movies. And no other ethnicity has been made the quintessential example of mainstream society’s virgin-whore complex.

Latinas aren’t the only ones to be stereotyped. In the Bay Area, Asian women probably get even more.

Laurie has had related experiences her whole life: “This reminded me of when I was 16 and I left my mostly Jewish neighborhood in New York City to live in the mostly gentile world.”

“All of a sudden men were telling me I was “Jewish, exotic and sexy.” And far more recently, I had the same comment from a white dyke.”

To return to Gonzales Clark’s article:

“So, Frank, what is it with guys and Asian chicks?” [my Korean-Mexican friend] asked. “You’re a guy, tell us.” … The basic idea was that Asian women were smaller than other women — everywhere.

We’re resisting quoting the entire article, but we can’t resist quoting the ending, in which Gonzalez Clark tells off a date for a racist comment:

“When you say some thoughtless or prejudiced remark, you are dishonoring my family and me,” I told him. “And if you do that, you can find another place to spend the night.”

He later dumped me for an Asian chick.

And the last word, from early in the article.

We’re all hot. But that’s not all that women of color are. And while our race and ethnicities may excite men, especially those in power, we’re not insatiable nymphomaniacs or exotic decorations.

Latina, women, feminism, Asian, Jewish, racism, stereotype, body+image, Body Impolitic

One thought on “Is It Hot in Here, or Is It You?

  1. Latinas may be stereotyped as hot-blooded, passionate spitfires, but at least some of the appeal of Asian women to at least some people lies in the belief that they are more submissive and passive and less exposed to newfangled modern Western ideas of equality or personal dignity.

Join the Conversation

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.